Utopias And Dystopias
utopias and dystopias —
“Move” (in your mind of course) to a utopia or dystopia of the future.
Imagine every possible aspect of that society, from big picture to tiniest detail.
Spend some time sketching it all out in your mind, then write a 1000 word letter back to our world, to warn us about the dystopia or get us excited about the utopia. The audience is a citizen of our world, can be fictionalized as a friend, family member, newspaper, or the younger self of the letter writer.
Have fun whichever one you pick.
There are 3 examples.
I might have heard the word Utopia and dystopia before, but maybe some of you haven’t taken enough time to understand its meaning. I believe you guys have come to the perfect place to get to understand these two terms. We can begin our journey by understanding the concept behind these two words which might be a puzzle to some of you. Utopia and Dystopia I believe refer to two kinds of lives or worlds which are sought-after in Speculative Fiction in other words science fiction narrations. Speculative science in case some of we have not come across it, we can describe it as a wide term that has an inclusion of science fiction, horror, fantasy, alternative history as well as some kind of fiction which is not thoroughly realistic. Want to know the difference between these two worlds? Utopia For me, I believe that utopia refers to a particular type of world that is said to be perfect. By this statement, we must believe that this is a place where problems are an impossibility, therefore, alluding to the fact that no different problems such as diseases, war, oppression, poverty, inequality, discrimination to name but a few. We have to understand that the word “utopia” originated from the ancient Greek by an individual known as Sir Thomas More. I think the Greek philosopher wrote this book which gives an original meaning of the word which can simply be defined as one place that “is not there” or “a good place.” Dystopia Do we want to know the meaning of a place or rather a world where things never seem to be perfect? Your guess is as good as mine; it is Dystopia. The everyday problems that have managed to plague our entire globe are more severe in dystopia speculative fiction. Therefore dystopia is a word that has been modified from utopia by the use of a prefix “dys’ which is defined as “difficult “or “bad.” Use of this prefix can be used to relate to other negative words such as “dyslexia, dysfunctional to give a clear meaning of that prefix. A look into the features/characteristics of Utopia and Dystopia Utopia characteristics • Citizen equality • Peace in the government • Safe environment • Access to healthcare, employment, and education Dystopia characteristics • People’s mind controlled by propaganda • Independent thought and free thinking are banned. • Very extreme poverty, a huge income between the richest characters and the poor characters. Have a Look at the Examples Now we all can give a guess of what the examples of dystopia are. The reason behind the guess is that these examples are considered much more common. If there were a way that fiction writers could innovate a way that will save us from the biggest problems faced by people globally such as poverty, world hunger and war then definitely we would have gone ahead to implement them and right now, everyone would be living in the world of utopia. One main rationale behind the popularity of the dystopia as we can all understand is that it is very true in our nature which is filled with conflict hence a fundamental part of any captivating story. A good example can be explained using a 2011 novel which was later adapted into a film in the year 2014. This movie story line if you don’t know related to a society that was split apart into five fractions on the foundation of five different feature personalities as an approach to maintain control over human nature. Another notable example is a book referred to as Hunger Games which was written in 2008 by Suzanne Collins. We all know that when it comes to young people genre of literature, dystopia has found so much increased popularity. There are numerous examples of dystopian narrations that include Brave New world by Aldous Huxley which is a book that I enjoyed in illustrating a speculative fiction. A Clockwork Orange is another book written by Anthony Burgess which can give an example of the bad world. A perfect example of a classical dystopian literature is one story written by George Orwell which gave a speculative fiction where British Society over a long period resulted to being transformed, bent and warped into being a severe totalitarian nation. To add on that, the dystopia resulted to total control of the press, relationship of the inhabitants in the state as well as manipulation and control of the human mind is itself the objective of the authority. When one hears hear certain terms being mentioned such as “thought crime,” political pundits, or big brother, then it is evident should all know these are terms from the year 1984. Utopia is a perfect place where these issues which result in any conflicts have already been solved. In these worlds, there is no illness, war, inequality or any poverty. In some instances, various well-educated groups assist our society towards the world that is better, for instance, the book called Childhood’s End by a person known as Arthur C. Clarke. In This book, we see a population of aliens that intend to utilize improved technology as well as ideologies in helping the humans in creating the world that is a better society to live in. To some up the discussion, I would say that speculative fiction of utopia with a precise focus to realize any human potential as well the appreciation of our mother nature, it attracts an optimistic adult. Many people will love to see the mistake of the past undone. Visionaries and idealists are drawn who are ready to seek an inspiration to take part in good deeds or other words renewing hopes in the mankind. We can, therefore, see that in these two; Utopia and Dystopia, the Utopian fiction is cerebral and more philosophical thus making it appealing to dreamers and thinkers amongst readers.
As I start to read The Queue by Basma Abdel Aziz. This book shows much of dystopia. Dystopia is an imagined place in which everything is unpleasant or bad. I feel as if the world today can relate to that. On the flip side to that there is Utopia. Utopia is a place that is also imagined but in that imagined place everything is perfect. I feel as if we can relate that to that as heaven. When I think of dystopia and utopia I think of heaven and hell or even the world that we live in today with all the violence.
Dystopia in my mind is known as hell to me or the world we live in today. I was taught I church hell is a burning pit. Obviously no one wants to go there so I think of that as a dystopia. On the flip side I know that these are all imagined places but I feel that we can look at dystopia in the world we live in today. Every time you turn on the news or get on social media, what do you see? We see that someone has been shot and killed, someone was raped, or even someone was kidnapped. All of these things are horrible but if we think of we sort of live in a Dystopia. I also think of our troops and how they go overseas to fight a war. These war zones are deathly. I have never been in a war zone but I have heard stories and these places just sound like a hell on earth. In the book there was a place where nothing but violence was going on and during all of that you had to get to the Gate to be healed from all the wounds you received in that violence. Specifically, there was a doctor that got shot and for him to heal himself he had to get to the Gate. Perhaps the gate doesn’t open no one can be saved from this mess. In my mind I see this place as a war zone and you have to get back to the medics save yourself.
Utopia to me is heaven. As I learned in church heaven is our goal to get to after death. I was taught this place was made of streets of gold. We will have a mansion where we will live with all of our family that have been in heaven longer than we have. There would be no emotions except happiness. This place called heaven is supposed to be simply heavenly. I know my end goal is to go to heaven. I don’t know one person that wants to go to hell.
With all of that being said that is how I think of dystopia and utopia. In my mind, when I hear dystopia I immediately try to match it with a place I can think of here on earth and not a imagined place. If I had to think of it with an imagination, I would think of it of an Xbox game. Some games are all about killing these games are kind of a dystopia in all the violence. The only think I can think of for a utopia would be heaven. Anywhere else on this earth isn’t a perfect. Absolutely nothing is perfect on this earth. I was always taught in church that God was the only person or thing that was simply perfect.
The “Queue” it is a book that puts me in the mind of going off the grid and completely isolating yourself from others and only let select few people in. My definition of utopia is a peaceful place with no hate and dystopia puts me in the mind of a place with war, destruction, constant hate and a place with absolutely no peace. As I was reading this book it reminded me a lot of the America with all of the hate going on, all of the messed-up politics, all of the confusion of who people are and what people are. So, in the book they have the “Gate” the gate is how they monitor who comes in and who goes out and they control their dystopia. The monitor every move of every person and control what they do so that there is control of destruction and make people feel that they are in a safe place. However, I feel that in today’s time this ties to our government and country. We are in a phase with so much hate, crime, and attacks that I feel our country is going to end up like a dystopia if it continues. People are out of control and I feel that our government will end up like a dystopia where they can monitor everything, from where to lay your head down at night to who you talk to on the phone every day to every word you speak.
As I said before this book puts me in the mind of going off the grid and completely isolating yourself from society. It is every single day that you wake up and there is some new disaster on the news and some type of drama going on within our own country and between America and another country. I have gotten to the point I do not even watch the news anymore because it’s so disheartening to see what our country is going to.
When I think of a utopia I think of a perfect place to live and a place that has no hate, no crime, no war, nothing but peace. I have been raised in church and always been taught that there is a Heaven and Hell and as a Christian being saved by the grace of God it is always our goal to end up in Heaven after our time here on this earth is finished and when I think I about a utopia it reminds me a lot of heaven because I have always been taught that when we reach Heaven is nothing but streets of gold, happiness, no fear, no worries, no sadness, and everyone is one big happy family with no hatred or war among each other. When I think of a dystopia I think of Hell a place with not much happiness, constantly being bitter and never having any hope of anything other than going through hell each day and your voices never being heard.
This novel has a lot of truth to it. Thankfully utopias and dystopias are imaginary and not real. However, I do feel that one day many many years away it could possible become reality. I feel that people come to America in fear that their countries are becoming dystopias but America is already divided and is so far from perfect. We have people hurting, people fighting, homeless people, people without jobs, and people without food, water, and shelter but we have other resources such as churches, shelters, and community groups that help those people which give me a glimpse of a utopia because everyone is helping each other out. As I have seen first-hand as I have been to two third world countries it gives me a glimpse of a dystopia. Kids and adults are walking around with no clothes, no shoes, no shelter, no food, no water, no family, and nowhere to go to seek help without mission teams that come to help. I feel like this is the closest thing to a dystopia without a dystopia being realistic. America has a long way to go before they are anything close to a dystopia even though sometimes with all the hate and crime it feels like one. America is blessed in more ways than we think.